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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

November 25, 2015 Winter Is Coming!

Hey Family! 

I'm loving this weather! It's starting to get chilly especially when it's windy. I'm sure it's going to get really cold and I'll be sick of the cold before spring but, as of right now I still like the cold a lot more than the hot. 

We had our primary program this last weekend too. Oddly enough, both the English and the Spanish wards here had a little party after and the classes were canceled. I've never seen it before but, it was a ton of fun, the members brought a bunch of their friends, and a lot of less active members came. Kinda weird for the Sabbath though. 

We have some big hopes for this week with a few of our investigators and we have a few new ones too. One of them is named A---, he's super cool, he should be progressing by the end of this week and we're going to try to get him a baptismal date for sometime around Christmas. 

Speaking of Christmas, the Christmas initiative starts on Sunday, which is huge for us. We got to see the video a few weeks ago at zone conference, it's really good we're going to show it to everybody.

We got invited to go to a members family's Thanksgiving tomorrow. We all had to report whether or not we had somebody to feed us so president could make sure that everybody got Thanksgiving dinner. I'm pretty excited to see how these people are going to celebrate because the family we're eating with is 1st generation American so it's going to be a mix of a Peruvian feast and Thanksgiving.

It's cool hearing about all of the friends. How's Zach doing? I hear the adjustment from mission life to regular life can be rougher for some people. It's great to hear that Austen's doing well, I was really worried for him. Thanks for the update on the friends, Dad.

I hope you have a great thanksgiving, good luck with having everybody over. Tell them I said hi. Have a great week. Eat a lot of turkey.

Con Amor,

Elder Sam McBride

So for some reason they lit up the bridge for a few nights a little bit ago. It was super cool looking but, I'm not sure the picture does it justice. I promise, it was really cool looking.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November 18, 2015 Change Is Good!


We had a super good week this last week! We decided part way through the week that instead of just working harder, we were going to work a whole lot smarter. And since then we've had a lot more success and things have been really moving. By the end of this week we should have a couple baptismal dates and tonight we have a couple return appointments with people that we've really been struggling to contact that could be awesome. 

For some reason this last week we've had a bunch of people just walk up to us on the street and ask to meet with missionaries. Unfortunately most of them don't live in our area, I guess that's one of the downsides of serving here, especially when your area is only 15 streets long and about a half mile thick.

I'm happy everything's going great back home. I hope everybody's happy and healthy and doing well. Thanks for the stories, they're always entertaining. Oh, and don't be too worried about me and the France thing. I'm never really in an area that I feel like would be targeted.  It's so sad, we're really in the last days. Anyway, How's the new job going dad? How's Cole's football team doing? Is he still wrestling? Is Ike still doing music and art? I'm super super sorry for the short email this week. We went down to china town and went to a really fancy stationery store, Mom would've been in heaven. Then we went and got dumplings, Chinese foods still not really my thing but I tried it. And then we walked around and I got to watch my roommates walk around and get haggled by the Indian trinket salesman. It was a pretty interesting Pday, Chinatown's cool.

I love you, longer email next week. I promise.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 11, 2015 Hey Family!

We had a pretty cool week over here in the city, it started off with that meeting that I told you we were going to go to last Thursday. It was a super cool meeting, there were a couple of brethren from the missionary department there but it was mostly run by President Smith. The big news is that he basically threw out the old Standard of Excellence because not a single companionship in the entire mission was hitting it, not a single companionship, literally nobody... So he and the Lord decided to throw out the old one and set a really super simple, difficult, but achievable, Standard of Excellence that I think might actually help to "expand our vision", like it's supposed to. Which is really cool, change is good, improvement is good, priesthood keys are good. Other than that we got some great instruction on planning and how we can improve as a mission, according to some surveys that everyone filled out right when I first came into the mission. It was really cool and I'm happy Elder Mackintosh and I got invited. I also got to see Elder Gallego for the first time since he got transferred a transfer and a half ago, he's always a hoot.

Other than that meeting we've had a pretty normal week so far, a lot of member work, we have a ton of less active members in our ward and so we spend quite a bit of time working on reactivation as well as the normal missionary work with investigators. It's fulfilling work, I love the feeling every time we have a member come to church that hasn't been for a really long time, there's nothing that quite feels like helping people participate in the Gospel. We also have a couple investigators that we're excited to meet with this coming week who'll hopefully be progressing in the next week or so. One of them came up to us on the street a few weeks ago and just straight up asked us how he could become a member of our church but, unfortunately, he left on a 2 week trip to Florida two days after we were able to meet him. He gets back Monday, so have your fingers crossed for that. 

We also have zone conference tomorrow, which is always really good. President sent us a talk from the most recent New Mission President Conference by both Elder Holland & Elder Christofferson (That's right both of them) to study for it. It's a very good talk/open discussion they had with the new mission presidents about "doing the will of the Father" and it's super cool to get to read it because I think the talks from that conference are only available to mission presidents. So, if the study material is any indicator for the conference it should be a good one.

I Love you Mom. You're the best thanks for being a great mom. Tell Cole and Ike that I love them.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November 4, 2015 It's Always an Adventure in New York

Hey Family! Seems like Halloween was a bunch of goofy fun as usual.  Halloween out here is super weird, all the kids still go out trick or treating but, instead of knocking on doors where people live, they walk down the avenues and trick or treat at the businesses. It's super goofy there were literally thousands of kids and their parents dressed up in Halloween costumes walking into barbershops, stores and restaurants swarming the poor employee whose job it was to hand  for the day. We only had one group of kids knock on our door all night and they were systematically knocking whole floors at the same time and then swarming any door that opened. It seemed to be working pretty well, every kid had a ton of candy and there were some adults following them carrying full sacks as well. Smart Kids, they must've done a bunch of buildings because they were flying.

Other than Halloween we had a pretty good week, we're trying reallyhard to work with the members right now, because there's a ton of "less actives" and part member families in our ward. The vision is to bring people back to renew their covenants and create Eternal families by completing part member families. It's a tough task, but nothing feels better than helping somebody find their way home.

We're having a really cool Pday so far. President approved for us to get taken out to lunch by a family friend of Elder Mackintosh's family. He's a nonmember so president was very supportive. His name is Immanuel Kelly, he's actually kind of famous. He made it pretty far on the Australian Xfactor and has a pretty cool story, you should look him up, super interesting guy and a crazy interesting life. He was found in a box in Iraq with some really serious physical disabilities, then he got adopted by an Australian woman and is blessed with a beautiful singing voice. Crazy. Other than that we did some extra grocery shopping last week so that we could have time to go down and see the MET.

The cheesecake turned out well but, we ended up not making it until Monday. We really didn't do to much for Halloween because our roommates had to weekly plan and Elder Mackintosh is kinda sick and he wasn't feeling very well on Saturday. So I watched Elder Holland talks, it was a good night. It was scary for the first couple of weeks but, then you just get used to figuring out how to communicate, I hope I'll be a pro in the next year and a half. As for the other questions I don't really need much, I don't have any warm socks yet so I'm gonna need some of those and my iPad case is falling apart but other than those things I don't really know of anything else yet. I'll get back to you once it gets cold.

This next week's going to be pretty cool, Elder Mackintosh and I got invited to a special MLC up in Scarsdale with Elder Donaldson from the 70 tomorrow. We don't really know why we got invited, but it should be awesome. And we have Zone Conference which is always a blast.

Sounds like you guys had a pretty busy week back home. Good luck Dad with the new job! Cole keep being a beast, don't burn yourself out keep that fire. Ike keep doin you stud. I love you Mom, I appreciate everything you've done for me. Have a great week.

Con Amor,
Elder McBride

A friend from our home ward's sister, who lives in Manhattan, found Sam and sent this picture.
Made our day!  What a small world!

Walking through Central Park to get to the MET.

It's Fall. I bet you're so jealous Mom (I am)